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Phone Scam

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Meigs County Sheriff Keith O. Wood would like to warn citizens of recent popular phone scams. Wood reports that his office has been noticing that phone scams are on the rise in our area, and have received numerous calls about these scams, that are frequently focusing on the elderly.

A few of these phone scams include calls from individuals claiming to be from the Powerball Lottery, United States Department of Treasury, The Federal Reserve and IRS. During these calls an individual will promise large amount of money to the victim, once a smaller amount of money is paid to them, usually via an untraceable account such as a prepaid debit/credit card, Green Dot card, etc.

Sheriff Wood also advises that another popular scam, which has focused on the elderly involves someone calling and claiming to be a loved one stranded or in jail. During these types of scams victims will receive a call from an individual claiming to be a relative stating that he/she is in jail in another state and need bond money to be released or that they are stranded in another state or country attempting to get home. When the scammers state the relative is in Jail they request the money be sent in the form of a wire transfer, or again prepaid cards, to an account that the individual states belongs to the Jail, Police Department, or Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Wood warns that this is NOT something that a Jail, Police Department, or any Sheriff’s Office would ask for.

Sheriff Wood also states that another popular form of this scam is that the “family member” will ask the individual to push a certain button or series of buttons to decline future calls, which in turn allows the caller to “spoof” your phone number, or use it at a later time to hide their own phone number, this in turn makes it very difficult to be able to identify the number called from.

Sheriff Wood cautions the public and is asking citizens to please NEVER give out private information such as a social security number, bank information, credit/debit card information, or even information relating to friends or family, and NEVER SEND MONEY.

Sheriff Wood states that there are a few clues to watch out for to help citizens:
1. Never accept calls from an unknown phone number.
2. Never send money when there is a promise of a larger amount.
3. If you think you are being scammed, HANG UP! (Staying on the line, after certain button combinations are pushed, can give the scammer access to more private information.)
4. If you are unsure of the number, research the number on the internet and see if it has been used in previous scams.
5. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as free money.

As always, Sheriff Wood urges citizens to call his office at 740-992-3371 or visit the website at to ask any questions or leave a tip on further scams.


Article courtesy of the Meigs Independent Press. 

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